Monday, June 30, 2008

Finding green in the red, white & blue

Day one of Roam @ Home Week, in honor of Independence Day...

Calculating the green factor of America's major metropolises is no easy feat. That's why I didn't try to do it; instead, I turned to Popular Science and their recent article, "America's 50 Greenest Cities." Not only did they have the time and energy to gather and decipher raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau, they compiled it all into an easy-to-understand rating system that takes a gander at electricity use, transportation, green living ease and recycling programs.

Who came out on top? You may be surprised to find that the greenest cities in the red, white and blue are:

1) Portland, Oregon [] pictured above
2) San Francisco, California []
3) Boston, Massachusetts []
4) Oakland, California []
5) Eugene, Oregon []
6) Cambridge, Massachusetts []
7) Oakley, California []
8) Seattle, Washington []
9) Chicago, Illinois []
10) Austin, Texas (yep, you read right) []

When traveling to these cities, keep in mind the fact that they're proven to offer eco-friendly mass transit and often, feature loads of green space to wander. Most of the tourism sites listed above have dedicated green travel pages, too, with info devoted to environmentally kind visits.

And if current winner Portland doesn't fit your personal eco scale, you can click here to read how Cambridge is trying to become America's greenest city.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Roam @ Home Week: Eco in the USA

This week, in honor of Independence Day, our focus will be on the U.S. Granted, globetrotting typically stretches beyond borders, but the truth is, there a lot of truly great, green things happening right here in our own backyard.

Stay tuned for Roam @ Home week, kicking off tomorrow, as we take a look at:

-The nation's greenest city destinations
-Amazing national parks
-Must-visit green museums
-Small, sustainable lodging
-A green Independence Day

Saturday, June 28, 2008

On the bookshelf: Make the Most of Your Time on Earth

From across the bookstore, this brightly-colored chunk of a guidebook screams to be admired, silently begging to have its pages dogeared and spine flattened by aspiring globetrotters. Perhaps it's the title, boldly splashed across the cover in stark contrast.


What could appeal more to us humans? In a world decidedly marked with strife and stress, it's a refreshing statement--and reminder--that we won't always be here to soak it up. Inside, the Rough Guide branded book details 1,000 "ultimate travel experiences" that takes readers from Easter Island to the Himalayas and offers 998 stops in between. Visually stunning, you'll witness scuba diving at Ningaloo Reef, complete chaos at Nevada's Burning Man Festival and step inside the Dali Museum in Spain. And while not every destination or suggestion is certifiably "green," we're still giving this read two thumbs up for an eclectic array of outdoor adventures.

If you're looking to whet your appetite for summer travel, there's no better indulgence than this. Find it at ($29.99. Paperback; 608 pages; September 2007)

*Uses FSC mixed source paper.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Quietly Green: Austria Finally Speaks Up

Until recently, not much has been touted when it comes to Austria's eco credentials... that is, until this week, when Alfred Strigl, deputy director of the Austrian Institute for Sustainability, said Austria was "top of the world" in sustainability. We haven't realized it because they're so modest, he claims. And... wait for it... he just may be right, according to the press release that accompanied his comments.

The country, unlike so many others, has apparently been embracing green practices for quite some time, including strict waste management regulations for businesses and households alike. In fact, 60 percent of waste is recycled and Austria was the first European country where renewable energies make up more than 50 percent of national energy production. And several Austrian towns and villages are promoting the concept of car-free holidays and low-traffic or vehicle-free zones, while cities such as Graz and Salzburg are converting their public transport to clean fuels. For folks that travel on foot, there's plenty to explore, including extensive national parks among the Alpine landscape that create a hiker's paradise.

Thermal spa and hotel Rogner Bad Blumau in Styria is reportedly one of Austria's finest sustainable tourist destinations, not only going to great lengths to minimise its environmental impact, but also helping to transform the economy of what was once one of Austria's poorest communities. In May of this year, the hotel also partnered with the World Wildlife Federation for Nature to donate a percentage of proceeds to save the Amazon rain forest.

Find out more at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Give Back Getaways" courtesy of the Ritz

The brand widely hailed as the epitome of luxury is stepping into new territory with its social and eco initiative dubbed Community Footprints. As of recent, the Ritz-Carlton Club (a fractional ownership sector of the worldwide hotel chain) is offering voluntourism opportunities cleverly coined "Give Back Getaways."

At choice destinations worldwide, Ritz staffers have selected community programs worthy of a helping hand--creating a charitable opportunity for travelers to mix work and play while away. Examples of volunteer vacations include:

The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas (and Walking Among the Mangroves)
Volunteers begin with a tour of the mangroves and salt ponds to learn how the trees protect the islands from erosion and storm surges, and provide a safe haven for underwater life. Then, they work in the mangrove nursery by planting seedlings or transplanting juvenile trees. Shown above.

The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, San Francisco (and Glide Memorial Methodist Church)
The property is committed to assisting in serving meals to the homeless, elderly and underprivileged. Members and employees partake in this cause by volunteering to support Glide's mission of serving meals in an atmosphere of respect, acceptance and love. In fact, the organization has been known to serve as many as 5,000 meals within an eight-hour period.

The Ritz-Carlton Club, Bachelor Gulch (and Snowboard Outreach Program)
In collaboration with the youth organization, members and employees at The Club can participate in activities such as a "Build Day" with Habitat for Humanity or maintaining a national forest trail. The society was founded to help disadvantaged children develop life skills.

The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands (and Adopt-a-Highway)
With the average American producing 1,600 pounds of trash each year and about an eighth of the trash not making it to the appropriate landfill sites, the property has designated a two-mile section on Highway 82. Participants clean up debris along the road and the Roaring Fork River.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Green Giveaway: Organic Skincare To-Go

Oftentimes, the word "travel" alone elicits a feeling of tension... and these days, it's no secret that globetrotting involves serious time, sizeable funds and loads of patience. To make your time on the go as smooth, and stress-free as possible, organic bodycare line Pharmacopia delivers the Aromatherapy Luxuries Set. Packaged in a ziplock tote (to keep you hustling through airport security) and filled with sweet-smelling products to pamper, this unique kit is the ideal accessory to any carry-on.

Included in the travel-size kit are: Lavendar Body Lotion (2 oz.), Citrus Body Wash (2 oz.), Ginger Body Oil (1 oz.), Aromatherapy Bath Salts (2 oz.) and one-time use sizes of Hand Cream and Body Wash. Snag your own set for $19.99.

WIN IT! Enter Green Globetrotter's inaugural Green Giveaway and you could be one of three readers to score your own Pharmacopia Aromatherapy Luxuries Set (MSRP: $19.99)! To enter, simply click here to send us your favorite "green" travel tip by Wednesday, July 9th. Three winners will be selected at random and shipped their own travel-ready kit, guaranteed to keep you calm during your next journey.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Eco on the Eastern Sierra: Tamarak's Green Cabin

Twin Lakes travelers can set their sights on a new conquest at Tamarack Lodge & Resort, beginning this July. That's when the first LEED certified "Green Cabin" will debut, joining the resort's other 34 on-site cabins in an outdoor playland made for fly-fishing, hiking and biking.

According to Tamarack, the 1,336-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath cabin sets a precedent for environmentally friendly building practices in the area, offering stunning views of Twin Lakes. This, in addition to the resort's current eco-efforts like biodiesel-fueled fleet vehicles, recycling initiative and "Off the Grid" Energy Fest & Expo, slated for this summer.

Eco-friendly elements of the first Green Cabin include:

  • Environmentally preferable and/or extracted materials and resources
  • Environmentally-friendly hardwood flooring, recycled carpeting and decking material
  • Local masonry rock and pest resistant siding
  • Recycled and local drywall
  • Energy efficient windows, local concrete aggregates and recycled fiberglass insulation
  • Compact hotwater distribution system
  • Dual-flush toilets that average 33 percent less water thanstandard toilet
  • Enhanced outdoor air ventilation provided by an air-to-air heat exchanger
  • Nearby access to a free shuttle
Sound like a place you'd like to stay? Hopefully so, as this project will lead the way toward the redevelopment of the Eagle Lodge in 2010. Get the deets at

More green on the Worldwide Web

Love, honor, leave no carbon footprint (New York Times)

10 places to be carefree and car-free (USA Today)

Hotel Confidential: Does green matter to you? (Intelligent Travel, Nat'l Geo)

Machu Picchu tourism boom extra burden on Incan Trail porters (AP)

Interview: Laura Burgess, Editor of Ecoescape Green Guides (EcoTravelLogue)

Understanding the consumer who is driving green trends (4Hoteliers)

Mauna Lani Shows Green Streak to Travel Channel (Hawaii Reporter)

Green travel tips (CNN)

Monday, June 23, 2008

On the bookshelf: Into Thick Air

This week, I happily reviewed the following *newly* released read for my favorite green go-to, Alternative Consumer. Below, you can read the entire post on this very cool, eco-friendly tale.

Some thrill-seekers yearn to walk upon the peaks of Earth’s highest points. Jim Malusa, however, is not like most thrill-seekers. Equipped with a bicycle, sleeping bag and occasionally well-insulated beer, he chronicles his adventures as he rides to the lowest geographical point of each continent.

His tales appear in “Into Thick Air,” published by Sierra Club Books, a travel narrative that so accurately paints an image of these deep depression hideaways, readers may feel they’ve experienced them first-hand. From Death Valley to Lake Eyre of Australia, Malusa humbly traverses to the “bellybutton” of every continent but Antarctica, whose lowest point is buried under 15 miles of icy glacier.

Along the way, he encounters such oddities as devilish dingoes and carnivorous chupacabras, smokes sheesha in Africa and sings to Russians. And through it all, he provides a captivating glimpse into the life of an intrepid traveler, riding for the thrill and coincidentally, a freelance gig for Discovery online.

A smooth and enjoyable read, this is a book for lazy summer evenings or lengthy airport delays that allows your mind to wander right along with Malusa. With a dose of humor and humility, it’s an endearing story that you’ll want to pass on to a favored friend.

Find it at your local bookstore or ($16.95; Copyright 2008)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Organic dining @ Olivia's - Skagway, Alaska

Chatting with my brother as he preps for an August trip to Alaska, it's hard not to reminisce on my own rugged experience in the wild frontier, a brief venture nearly two years ago. Touring Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, I was privy to all that the wilderness had to offer... and soaked up every second of it.

Skagway, a small town and the long ago last-pit-stop before the hike to gold, was hands down my favored locale during our trip. And within Skagway, a favorite stop was The Historic Skagway Inn, once a firey brothel that warmed the hearts (or loins) of those gold-hungry miners. Now, the suspected haunting grounds of the ladies of the night that once lived there.

I was reminded of my trip to the hotel and accompanying restaurant, Olivia's, when Live.Life.Travel. magazine recently published an article I'd written upon my return. Set against a sky of mountain peaks, this relaxed, but elegant restaurant made for a perfect evening, which included picking our own salad fixings from the lovely organic garden out front and watching the chef prepare our meal.

Sound mouth-watering? It was. You can read the full article here, if interested.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

SwapTree Update & Amazon Kindle

After my Monday post about book exchange site, I got into the action by creating a login of my own. After all, there are plenty of long, lakeside summer days in my future, and what do you need than a cold drink and good paperback?

I'm happy to report smooth sailing with SwapTree - a great, great, eco-friendly resource and money-saver, too!

Now, if trading books via post is still too much of an eco challenge for many of you, I welcome opinions on Amazon's Kindle - a "digital book" that allows readers to upload novels and more to a handy wireless reading device. Most ebooks retail fro $9.99 and can downloaded to a Kindle in less than one minute. (That's it pictured to the left.)

Worried you'll miss the sight and feel of real paper? Amazon debunks on drawback by claiming that Kindle's "electronic paper" offers a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.

Amazon Kindle ($359)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Adventure travel carbon credits: Do or Don't?

Just recently, a new survey, "The Role of Carbon Offsets in Adventure Travel," took place among a group of Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) tour operators. As you may have guessed by the title, it was an informal way to gather perceptions of offsetting carbon emissions within the adventure travel sphere. An industry, I might add, that has seemingly adopted earth-friendly policies whole-heatedly.

The results? Surprising.

"Some of the survey results were very revealing," reports Richard Edwards, NativeEnergy and veteran online travel expert. Just 51 percent of all respondents admitted they had a clear understanding of what carbon offsets were and how the voluntary offset market works. Yet when asked if they had a carbon offset program currently in place, an overwhelming 84% said they did not. However, 86% felt that the carbon offsets market could be a positive solution to the climate crisis.

I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised by the lack of industry knowledge in a topic that seems to be discussed daily in the news. If carbon offsets are a positive solution, then perhaps we should begin informing the tour operators we visit, utilize and speak to, to begin offering volunteer opt-in carbon offsets.

This way, guests aren't forced to burden the cost, they're merely informed of the option. In time, I imagine many tour operators will hop aboard in the name of climate change. For now, speak up and share your thoughts and opinions, with me, with the Web, with tour operators.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tales to travel with - SwapTree

I've traveled solo, as well as in great company, and still, there is one constant: a dog-eared book to bury my head in during extended delays, red-eye flights and tumultuous train rides. Yet, while reading is key to learning about our world and culture--and definitely helps to pass the time--books don't do much for our rapidly diminishing forests.

To combat the waste created by continually purchasing books, the Web site SwapTree offers a free book exchange service online. Best of all, it's simple. Really simple.

1) Create a login / password

2) List the books you have

3) List the books you want

4) Swap away!

The site even allows you to print mailing labels and postage from home. Better yet, it searches locally so you can swap without the cost of shipping, or the use of fuel prior to taking flight. Thumbs up in my book.

Interested? Check out some of the travel titles you can swap here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Score better mileage this summer

Hitting the road for a summer vacation? Before you fill up at the pump (and dish out a whopping $4+ per gallon), read these tips on achieving maximum fuel efficiency during your drive.

Choose a vehicle. That rugged SUV may be the official road-tripper of your house, but if it's not a Tahoe Hybrid, you may want to consider the sedan this summer. It will force you to pack light, but hey, that saves gas too.

Schedule an annual maintenance check-up. Things like oil changes and clean air filters all contribute to the fuel efficiency of your car or truck. Let them go, and you'll start to see your mileage sinking.

Fill your tires. This is an easy tip that only takes a minute. Proper tire inflation can garner you 10 percent better mileage - so don't ignore it.

Pack light. Every extra 50 pounds of weight in your vehicle lowers your fuel economy approximately 1 percent.

Map it. After you're packed, take a moment to map out your trip--uber easy on AAA's free TripTik mapping program. You'll be able to find the closest lodging and dining options, in addition to restrooms and ATMs, so you won't be driving in circles wasting that precious gas.

On the Road
No jack rabbit starts and stops. Keep things smooth and gently accelerate to avoid seeing your gas gauge plunge before your eyes.

Set it on cruise. Use cruise control to keep your speed at or below the limit. Sixty miles per hour has been regularly proven to be the most fuel efficient speed for most vehicles. Don't get pressured by the passing lane... this is a vacation, after all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Book travel, give back

Sounds simple, right? Turns out it is, thanks the launch of a new site:

All you have to do is route your dollars through this site's many travel links (airlines, hotels, trains and car rentals included), and a certain percentage of your purchase--clearly noted--will be donated to the charity or school of your choice.

According to the site, projections of online travel spending will top more than 125 billion a year by 2011.

When the economy weakens, charitable organizations are usually the hardest hit,” said Ken Ramberg, Co-Founder of GoodShop. “GoodShop is helping to alleviate that strain in resources and make it possible for everyone to give back while they enjoy their summer vacation.”

To date, organizations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation have gained $8,300 in donations. The ASPCA has garnered a cool $15,000.

So, when you're booking your travel for this summer's getaway, think of GoodShop; it can't hurt, but it can certainly save.

More green on the Worldwide Web

India's Subsidized Tourism Roils Upscale Waters (Wall Street Journal)

Eco-friendly green weddings (The Canadian Press)

Sleep green in the Green Mountain State (National Geographic Traveler)

Climate change "threatening tourism" (Melbourne Herald Sun)

Bahamas Star Lodging project aims for 100% Self-Sufficiency (Green Lodging News)

Sustainable Summer (Sacramento News Review)

China's first carbon neutral hotel (Nirvana: Ssarah Manski's Luxury)

Officials consider improvements to Alcatraz Island (The Mercury News)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Energy savings in the Windy City

Chicago has a lot more going on than Navy Pier, if you haven't noticed yet. Big city charm nestled against the coast of Lake Michigan is an equation proven to draw folks from all over the Midwst (and nationwide) for a piece of pizza pie or a wild night at Wrigley Field.

Last month, it got even better. For the first time, an Energy Star award was granted to a Chicago hotel--specifically, to the InterContinental Chicago--for "superior eco-friendly initiatives and highly efficient energy use."

Awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star awarded properties are scored on a 1-100 scale and those facilities that achieve a score of 75 or higher are eligible for the widely recognized honor.

Chi Town's InterContinental scored a cool 88 percent, thanks to eco-friendly planning. And they're not stopping yet... the hotel is also in the final stages of accreditation for LEED and Green Seal. Visit this summer, and you might just be able to stretch out on their green roof... busy folks, huh?

Image courtesy of InterContinental Chicago

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Green on green: Golfing goes eco

It's the time of the year when golfers nationwide pack up their clubs and hit the green. So it seemed perfect that USA Today chose to highlight the most eco-friendly golf courses in the U.S. according to senior editor for travel and course rankings at GOLF Magazine.

What makes the green green? You may be surprised... Certified Audubon Sanctuaries, tidal marshes, natural limestone caves and a three-acre photovoltaic system name just a few eco characteristics that are leading the way in environmental stewardship.

The round up of 10 includes the following spots to sink a hole in one:

Amelia Island Plantation (Amelia Island, Fla.)

Barton Creek Resort & Spa (Austin)

The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs)

Kapalua Resort (Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii)

Pebble Beach Resorts (Pebble Beach, Calif.)

Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Kiawah Island, S.C.)

Mauna Lani Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)

Pinehurst Resort (Pinehurst, N.C.)

Reynolds Plantation (Greensboro, Ga.)

Turning Stone Resort & Casino (Verona, N.Y.)

Airport Advice: Cutlery to go

I've spent lots of time in airports. Too much time in airports, in fact. And yes, I've eaten a lot of airport grub in those flashy food courts; out of necessity--and raging hunger--of course. And while I'm not claiming that in-flight food is much better, it does hold one major advantage over the dine-and-dash variety: real silverware. You know, the reusable kind that goes in a dishwasher and comes out sparkling clean for the next frequent flier.

How can a traveler ditch the guilty conscience? Utensil makers To Go Ware make it easy with this bamboo set (fork, spoon, knife) that comes packaged in a 100 percent recycled wrap produced by CONSERVE, an NGO project in Delhi. According to, CONSERVE employs ragpickers to collect discarded plastic bags and repurposes them into incredible designs and products. Cool, huh?

Get the details here. $19.95 (Shown in Sante Fe)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Top eco-brands, according to AdAge

The votes are in... and advertising-industry publication, AdAge, has chosen their top eco-friendly brands and outlined the who, what, why, when and where in the special report "Who's in charge of green?", published today and written by Mya Frazier.

Relevant topics and winners include the following:

Travel/Tourism: Fairmont

Trasnportation: Enterprise

Automotive: Honda

Thoughts? Feelings? Are these the brands that "rule" their industry in your eyes?

Illustration courtesy of AdAge

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A lesson on green

Over Memorial Day weekend (you know, those few days when absolutely nothing appeared on this blog?), I got the chance to do a bit of traveling in northern Michigan - my introduction to summer 2008, really. In my defense, I have no internet connection in, well, the middle of nowhere.

What I did have was time. Time to spend with family and friends, and time to devote to the outside world. Traveling often conjures up images of the Eiffel Tower, rolling, Irish hills, or a sandy beach, so this summer, I'd like to focus on the here and now... and nearby. And after an extended weekend in the wilderness and on the water, I left with a freshened vision of what green travel truly is.

Don't get me wrong, eco-friendly hotels and recycled luggage is a massive step forward in transforming a world of travelers (not to mention the industry), but sometimes green just means simple, too. Below, some tips for enjoying the moment - wherever your wanders lead you this year.

G - Go. The first step. Don't be indecisive. Do it.

R - Respect. The places you go, the people you meet.

E - Explore. Outdoors, around corners, beyond the boundries.

E - Envision. A better world. Enough said.

N - Notify. Tell. Other. People.

Friday, June 6, 2008

BEACH WEEK: Top 10 for 2008

There is a person who goes by the name Dr. Beach. And he's talking to the LA Times. No surprise, he's dishing on the best beaches in America for '08. According to the report, criteria include water and sand quality, facilities and environmental management.

Which sandy selections made his top 10?

1) Caladesi Island State Park in Clearwater/Dunedin, Fla.
2) Hanalei Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
3) Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Fla.
4) Coopers Beach, Southampton, N.Y.
5) Coronado Beach, San Diego
6) Main Beach, East Hampton, N.Y.
7) Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
8) Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, N.C.
9) Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Fla.
10) Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, S.C.

Cape Florida State Park pictured above.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

BEACH WEEK: Sunscreen stars

It goes without saying, part of any "green" vacation is being outside. And if you're under the sun's shining rays, you'll definitely want to be slathered with a skin-saving sunscreen. Unfortunately, the sunblock aisle at the local drugstore is typically overrun with zillions of options, each claiming a unique attribute.

So, for Beach Week, let's keep it simple, shall we? To keep your skin silky soft and protected from the sun's rays (not to mention wrinkles and a leather-like appearance), choose one of these eco options.

Alba Hawaiian Green Tea
SPF 30+ Sunscreen
Green Tea Sunscreen SPF 30+ is made with aloe vera and
green tea, a blend of botanicals designed to defend against free
damage while soothing and repairing sensitive skin.

Coola Total Body SPF 45

Endorsed by the American Lifeguard Association, this blend is
an ultra sweat-resistant blend of active ingredients and organic extracts.

Soleo Organics All Natural SPF 30+

All natural and organically produced, this sunscreen is safe
for humans and the environment. It is formulated Naturopathic principles and without the use of any UV absorbers, titanium-dioxide or synthetics.

Kiss My Face Organic Hot Spots

A pack of three five ounce sticks makes this beeswax, coconut
oil and wild-crafted shea buter blend perfect for tossing in all your beach
bags. Made of over 50 percent organic ingredients.

More green on the Worldwide Web

Luxurious, green, whale-shaped travel (ecolectic)

Going green: Everyone is doing it (eTurboNews)

Greenify your business travel (Green Business Alliance)

Green luxury on a private-island (eHotelier)

Trips w/Twist: Green travel in the Midwest (MLive)

Jet Blue's "jetting to green initiative" (Got@BeGreen)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Brad Pitt to design green Dubai flagship hotel

Zabeel Properties, a boutique developer out of Dubai, announced plans for a five-star flagship hotel and resort today. Of course, it wouldn't have made Green Globetrotter if it wasn't green... but the news gets even better. Mr. Mega Star, Brad Pitt has signed on to assist in the design process thanks to his connection with LA-based architecture firm GRAFT.

According to Zabeel Properties:

Mr. Pitt's involvement in the cutting-edge design for the America-themed resort demonstrates his deep-seated interest in the project. It is set to become a flagship hotel complex for Dubai and a world-leader in environmental sustainability.

At the heart of the project will be an 800-room five-star America-themed hotel, which will eventually play host to the most glamorous events and award ceremonies. Its precise location in Dubai is to be confirmed in the near future.

Robert Norton, CEO of Zabeel Properties, says: "Our master plan and design concept will be world-leading and we're delighted to be collaborating with Brad Pitt and the team at GRAFT, which is recognised for its innovative building design. This project will display our uncompromising focus and commitment for developing high quality and environmentally-sustainable real estate in this region."

Says Pitt: "Whilst acting is my career, architecture is my passion. Selecting this development as my first major construction project has been a simple decision. It will underpin not only my values for environmentally-friendly architecture, but also embrace my career in entertainment.

"We will be unveiling precise plans in the next few months, but you can expect something that is not only stunning to look at, but will also be an incredible attraction to visit or stay at."

The proposed Hotel & Resort is striving for a minimum of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold status.

Dubai today pictured above.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

BEACH WEEK: Must-have MP3 player

The Alternative Consumer blog clued me in to this must-have accessory for relaxing (or dancing) on the beach.

Made by Japanese company Thanko, it's a soon-to-be-released solar-powered entertainment blessing. Featuring an LCD screen that measures 1.8" and 4GB of internal memory, it boasts the capability to blast your favorite summer tunes or play "Beaches" (cue: awwww) via video file.

Best of all? It charges by the sun - or USB.

Find out more on this sandy staple here, and visit for more great, green buys.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

BEACH WEEK: Beach bag must-haves

At Green Globetrotter, June marks the start of our self-declared, annual "Beach Week."

We'll be bringing you the must-have goodies for this year's beach totes and spilling the beans on this season's hottest sandy destinations. Today, a review of perfectly pure packables - guaranteed to keep you smiling through a sunny, seaside adventure.

Our first totable necessities comes courtesy of Body + Soul magazine by Martha Stewart, outlined in their "Fun in the Sun" article (June issue) by Abbie Barrett. Included are the following products, like funky footwear and a kickback to a bygone era, simple shovelsand buckets for castles in the sand...

The Comfy Chair by Oh Yeah Comfy
Made with sustainably harvested Brazilian jatoba trees ($185)

Taylor Organic Towels by Pottery Barn
Spun with organic cotton, in four juciy shades ($29)

Recycled Plastic Market Bag by GAIAM
Partial proceeds of this handmade bag go to impoverished Indian women ($29)

Classic Panama Hat by San Francisco Hat Company
Made with sustainably harvested carludovic tree ($37)

Masa Sunglasses by Amy Sacks
Partially made with bamboo ($155)

Cushee Sandals by SIMPLE Shoes (A Green Globetrotter favorite!)
Made with recycled rubber, hemp and water-based adhesive ($25)

Sand Play Set by Green Toys
Classic beach toys made from reused plastic milk jugs ($20)

Some other green goods recommended by yours truly...

Mineral Tinted Lip Moisturizers by Juice Beauty
With certified organic emollient plant oils, nutrient-rich vitamins and honey ($15 for 3)

Swimsuits by Deux FM
Fab finds made with eco-friendly materials

Organic Earth Headbands by Violet Love
Primarily bamboo bands perfect for sweeping back beach-blown hair ($19)
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